Precious metals were higher in active trading Wednesday on the Commodity Exchange in New York, buoyed by a weakening U.S. dollar and expectations for a more accomodative monetary policy from the Federal Reserve Board.
The market's sharp advances early in the session were triggered by Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker's announcement Tuesday of plans to expand targets for monetary growth, said Bette Raptopoulous, a metals analyst in New York with Prudential Bache Securities.
"That caused the dollar to ease further," and sparked active buying in the metals pits, she said, adding that overseas buying also supported the market.
Gold and silver prices dropped from session highs on a report that Egypt is considering lowering oil prices, but closed strong, she said.
A senior Egyptian official later said the country would cut prices but did not know by how much.
Grain and soybean futures prices were mixed in fairly moderate trading on the Chicago Board of Trade.